T20 stalwarts - Alex Hales and Shahid Afridi are named amongst 90 internationally-based players who have been shortlisted to participate in the inaugural edition of the T20 Global League in South Africa. Former Pakistan skipper Afridi hit a century off 42 balls for Hampshire in England's T20 blast last week, whereas, Hales made a brilliant 116 not out off only 64 balls in a T20I against Sri Lanka.
The pair will be joined by eight foreign marquee players who will also be assigned individually to the eight participating franchises on August 26 and August 27.
Other world stars, who have made the final cut are Steven Finn, Ahmed Shehzad, Ben Hilfenhaus, and Saeed Ajmal, with 13 countries in total, including South Africa, represented on the list.
There is also the added intrigue of Pakistan legend and former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, possibly coming out of retirement to play after he availed himself for the six-week long competition.
Fellow global Test legends Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies and Ian Bell of England are also amongst the list.
Meanwhile, Associate stars namely Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands), Kevin O'Brien (Ireland), Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) and Kyle Coetzer (Scotland) have also been drafted in the list.
Ten Kolpak players join them in the draft, amongst them being big-hitters Richard Levi, Colin Ingram and David Wiese.
The 13 countries represented are - Afghanistan, Australia, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
"The Player Draft is a major step forward for the T20 Global League and the anticipation among players, coaches and owners is now clearly visible," commented CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
"The huge interest from players around the world has been phenomenal and the calibre of players in the draft will make squad selections one for the fans to follow.Gayle, McCullum, Shehzad, Hales, Levi and our own Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis - another marquee player - are among those who have scored T20 International centuries. The T20 Global League is now ready for take-off," concluded Lorgat.
Each of the eight franchises can have five international players, including Kolpak players, in their 18-man squads
The competition will be played in November and December in eight cities across South Africa.
(With Agency Inputs)